Make and use maize cob charcoal

Four very good reasons why to make your own charcoal from dry maize cobs.

1. They are FREE!! (minimal processing required and are widely available as a farm waste product)

 2. Maize cob charcoal is very easy to make and leaves few charcoal fines. (no need for expensive briquetting)

 3. They are easy to light and burn very hot with little ash and are perfect for cooking a quick meal. 

4. Using maize cob charcoal means ZERO reliance on tree's and forests, fossil fuels like LPG gas or unreliable and expensive electricity supplies for your cooking fuel needs. And with a Cookswell Jiko you can bake, boil, roast and toast all of your favorite foods

All you need is a simple mini-kiln a few spare hours and some free maize cobs. 
Which almost all maize farmers in Kenya are very happy to get off their hands. Maize cobs are used in a few areas for silage for zero grazing cows, some people use them to cook with but they are so smokey most people burn them in the fields as waste.
Loading the dry maize cobs in the kiln
After 5 hours you are done, just seal the kiln, let it cool for a few hours and voila! Your lump maize cob charcoal is ready to use!

Blending maize cob and tree branch charcoal at a 1:3 ratio is a great combination for fast lighting and long cooking!

Maize cob charcoal burns HOT and cleanly! 

You can also add on a wood oil trap to collect the pyroligneous acid (Wood Vinegar) to use for anti-termite on farm use.

Some of the the first things the Cookswell R&D lab cooked up when we discovered how simple and cheap it is to make ''amaizing'', maize cob charcoal.....or.....mkalamagunzi choma!!  

The 18,000ksh 4 burner Cookswell BBQ jiko.

a kilo robo choma of some nice mbavu chaps cooked in 35mins! 

4 burner BBQ + mini-kiln 35,000ksh. And you never pay for charcoal again!

Maize cob charcoal blended with branch charcoal. Fast lighting and long burning..easy to make and easy to use with the same great taste!And with a 4 burner BBQ jiko you only light the ceramic liners that you need!
All of this was cooked on 3 re-charges of charcoal (about 4 handfuls)....and was essentially free charcoal (waste maize cobs) (the 25,000ksh small 3 level charcoal oven. 
Feel free to come visit the Lower Kabete Woodfuel Resource Center in Nairobi 


  1. Anonymous22.10.14

    In areas when corn is grown on commercial basis. Cob charcoal can be great use for the energy devised stove and save trees at the same time. Better charcoal briquets can be produced and packed for distance use. How can that be achieved?

  2. Hi you should talk to Chardust Ltd about briquettes - or look into value addition and bake maize bread with the corn cob charcoal!

  3. Of the many benefits of charcoal, the greatest use as activated carbon. That is, the carbon structure with modified charcoal freed from the bonds of other elements so that the surface and active center becomes widespread.charcoal benefits

  4. Great job. Am interested in this and eco friendly charcoal and stove can we talk more on it?

    1. sure please email on

  5. Great idea! How long does the "cob coal" last?


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